In trying to find out how to get rid of dog lice, you will come to find out that it isn’t as difficult as trying to get rid of fleas and ticks.
And as you’ll soon see, this is definitely due to the fact that fleas and ticks are fundamentally different from lice. Now. let’s find out what this lice are about.
Lice are pretty interesting creatures; they are wingless insects with six (6) legs. These six (6) legs are not to be toyed with because they have some powerful hook-like claws attached to them.
With these claws, lice are able to latch onto the hair follicles of their host and cling on tightly.
We should quickly point out that the lice that infest dogs and animals in general are not the same as the lice that infest humans.
As a result, you cannot contract lice from your dog and vice versa.
That said, there are actually two kinds of lice that can infest dogs and this categorization is basically based on what part of their host said lice are interested in.
The Trichodectes Canis and Heterodoxus Spiniger are also known as chewing lice because they basically only feed on surface secretions
On the other hand, Linognathus Setosus is also known as sucking lice because it feeds on blood. And while the sucking lice isn’t as common as the chewing kind, it is obviously more serious.
One more thing before we talk about curative measures, it is important to bear in mind that a female adult louse will reproduce throughout her life which is about 30 days.
So, if left alone, you can have a host of potential chewers or blood suckers in just 30 days.
How Do Dogs Get Lice?
Remember how we said that fleas and ticks are fundamentally different from lice? Well, here it is.
Lice are not as resilient as fleas and ticks in that they, lice, cannot survive without a host and also cannot jump to look for a host.
As a result, for there to be a transmission, there has to be a direct contact between an infested dog and a dog who isn’t.
Secondary transmission is also possible. However, the infested clothes or articles have to have been recently worn by an infested dog for it to have any effect.
Finding Out Your Dog Has Lice
Now, while lice might not be resilient enough to find a host, when they do find one, they do not easily let go. It is rare for you to find lice just dropping off of a dog because those hook-like claws give them good stay.
So, if you’ve noticed that your dog scratches a lot, especially if it is a particular spot, or you’ve noticed that your dog has begun to lose hair in certain areas, it is time to do a lice sweep.
In some terrible cases, dogs could even get anemia if they are infested by the blood suckers and especially if they are puppies. So, do take this seriously.
Getting Rid Of Dog Lice
If you suspect that your dog has a lice infestation, check their fur, you’ll notice some whitish substances in their fur.
However, those whitish substances could also be dandruff. To be really sure, get you a flea comb and comb through your dog’s fur.
If said whitish substances fall off, you are probably dealing with dandruff. However, if they do not, you are probably dealing with lice.
Once you’ve ascertained that you have a lice situation, there are a number of options available to you.
One, you could comb your dog’s coat through to get rid of the lice.
However, this is pretty time consuming and because of how strongly lice can hold on to their host, combing through your dog’s coat might not get rid of all the lice.
Nonetheless, a flea comb is something to consider simply because there are no chemicals involved. Plus, you could pair this with bathing your dog with a shampoo for lice.
On the other hand, you could just go the chemical route and get you insecticides. However, it is best you get a recommendation from your vet for this one.
That said, whichever dog lice control method you use, be well aware that none of them will get rid of the eggs.
As a result, you’ll have to apply the control regularly for about 6-8 weeks. If you’ll be combing and shampooing, those can be done once every week. The insecticides, on the other hand, can be administered once every two weeks.
First off, if you have more than one dog, it is safer to automatically assume that all your dogs have been infested and treat them for lice.
However, you might want to hold off on the insecticide unless you have ascertained that the other dogs have been infested too.
That said, it is also important to quarantine an infested dog, keeping them away from the other dogs and even dog kennels and such till you are done with the treatment.
If you have cats, you’ll have to be careful with the insecticides because they can be really toxic for cats.
Finally, it makes sense to immediately disinfect everything that an infested dog has worn or laid on including their beddings, clothes and even your floors.
So, for the time period that your dog is undergoing treatment, you’ll have to do regular washing of stuff and vacuuming of your floors.